AZ Congressional races shaping up to be competitive

March 05, 2012

The fields for Arizona’s Congressional races are starting to take shape, and political observers say several of them appear to be competitive.

U.S. Capitol Congressional redistricting has created questions about who will represent Arizona at the U.S. Capitol after November. (Photo courtesy of Architect of the Capitol)

Congressional hopefuls continue to announce their candidacies in Arizona. Two Republicans jumped into the primary race in the new 9th District (Tempe, parts of Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa and other East Valley cities) just last week. In a normal year, the fields would be more or less set by now, but the redistricting process has pushed those deadlines back a little, says Political Analyst Chris Herstam.

"Common sense would tell us that you better make up your mind within the next 30 days or so, or you’ve probably waited too long to raise money, to get an organization on the ground, and get your signatures to get on the ballot," Herstam says.

Candidates have until later this spring to submit their petition signatures, and Herstam believes there are a few districts which could still see some new candidates, including the 9th, and the 1st, which includes much of Northern Arizona.

Herstam also believes there are three races that should be competitive through the primary, and three that should be competitive through November's general election. Topping the list of the former is the 6th District (Scottsdale, Paradise Valley), which pits two freshmen incumbents against each other.

"I think (Ben) Quayle has more fundraising and maybe a little better name ID right away, because of his family history," Herstam says, "but (David) Schweikert has got a tremendous organization, is a very hard working campaigner and probably has the superior organization at this point, so I really think it’s honestly a flip of a coin."

As for districts that should be competitive through the general election, Herstam believes the 9th and the 2nd (Tucson area) could take top honors.

RELATED: Arizona redistricting maps approved January 2012

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